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Lansing Gets Elections Upgrade Grant

Chris Swope with primary election ballots
File Photo
Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope

The city of Lansing has received a grant of more than $440,000 for election-related upgrades.

The grant comes from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a national group that touts a mission to ensure that elections are secure.

Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope says the money will be spent on pandemic-related hazard pay for workers and office staff, along with equipment like new ballot drop boxes.

Swope adds that those drop boxes will be useful far beyond this year’s election. “Somewhere in excess of 90% of our voters will be within a mile and a half of a drop box," Swope explains, "so that’s something that can be used a long into the future.”

A few days ago, the group issuing the grant announced it received a $250-million-dollar grant from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan. The announcement says the money would be redirected to local jurisdictions around the country.

Swope says the group approached Lansing about the grant, and that the size of the grant surprised him.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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